Dreamlike Architecture in Infrared

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

Dream when you’re feeling blue

Dream that’s the thing to do ~ Johnny Mercer

Infrared images of architecture transform the everyday version of a building into a dreamlike structure. A case in point is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.


Mid-morning, alongside the recently renovated plaza with its splashing pools and canvas parasol-covered walkways, visitors gather in sitting areas and on stairs while passersby hasten past. In infrared the public space becomes surreal with the ghostly presence of people, immobile like outdoor statues.


The iconic museum becomes stark white and the sky a deepening blue with colors that are channel-swapped in Photoshop and adjustments made to the hues and tones. Using Silver Efex Pro, a black and white conversion software, images of oversized parasols, seating areas, and walkways furnish glowing expressions of the Fifth Avenue site with glimpses of vendors selling their wares. Sitters, in groups and singly, casually gathered at movable tables and chairs under the leafy London Plane trees exhibit a mellow mood of relaxation. In a mid-morning respite lies a perfect spot to dream.


All images were captured with the infrared converted Olympus E-PM2 and Lumix G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH II lens; the building with an exposure of 1/250 sec at f/5.6 and ISO 200; the parasols, an exposure of 1/80 sec at f/5.6 and ISO 200; and the sitting area, an exposure of 1/320 sec at f/5.6 and ISO 200, with a -1/3EV exposure compensation.